In your quest to find the best wireless home security system, you may hear a lot of chatter about absent and false alarms. Because reliability is everything when it comes to protecting what matters most to you, you’ll no doubt want to choose a setup that will provide you with peace-of-mind.
That said, it’s just as important to understand why absent and false alarms occur and what you can do to prevent them, so that you stay happy with your choice for years to come.
Absent and False Alarms: What Causes Them (and How to Fix It)
Even the best wireless home security system could give off an incorrect signal or fail to contact help when you need it if something goes wrong. Because each is caused by different things, we’ll address common causes individually. But it is still better to look for a professional help like with Life Shield.
Why an Alarm May Fail to Signal
There’s no outside connection. Many systems rely on a single pathway to the outside world. In a wired system, it’s usually a telephone landline. In a wireless setup, it’s likely a cellular connection or an internet connection.
Some, like Life Shield, have four different pathways, so there’s always a backup. If yours only has one, you’ll either need to switch to one with backups or make sure the connection is always on.
You’re in a grace-period. Some systems give you a period to adjust when they’re new, before they send out signals to the monitoring company. This is because most people have a few oops moments while they’re getting the hang of arming and disarming their systems.
There’s no power. Some wireless systems don’t tap into your power. Instead, they work on batteries. If this is the case with yours, check the batteries.
You’re using non-compatible components. Some alarms that call for help when there’s a fire work alongside your existing smoke detectors. They listen for the beep. If your smoke detector doesn’t beep, but rather lights up or speaks, it may not work with your security system.
You forgot to set it. When you’re not accustomed to setting the alarm or you’re busy, it’s easy to forget to set the alarm. Some systems offer a remote arm/disarm feature, which you can access on you phone, so you can arm it while you’re away.
Why a System May Give a False Alarm
You have pets and your motion detectors are not pet-friendly. There are several types of motion detectors. Some won’t send a signal that a break-in has occurred when a pet moves around and some will. Switch to a pet-friendly version if animals are in your home.
You installed motion detectors in a bad location. Some motion detectors look for changes in heat, which means a radiator, air conditioner, or heater could trigger a response. Learn how yours works and make sure it’s paced accordingly.
You don’t have a fire verification feature. Smoke detectors can be finicky and go off when you cook dinner or take a hot bath, ultimately triggering a false alarm. Choose a system that warns you of the potential danger right away, but gives you a moment to address the situation before calling for help.
You don’t have a cross-zone feature. Maybe you’ve left a door unlatched and the wind blew it open or tree branch broke a window. Under normal circumstances, these would all trigger alarms. However, with a cross-zone feature enabled, a system looks for a second signal, such as activity on a motion sensor, before contacting the monitoring company.
You don’t have a swinger shutdown feature. Perhaps that door you left unlatched didn’t just blow open; it’s opening and closing repeatedly in the wind. Again, under normal circumstances, this would trigger an alarm. However, if your system has a swinger shutdown feature, it recognizes the repetitive motion and ignores that sensor until the system is disarmed again.
The Best Wireless Home Security System Will Have Protections in Place
Although all the things outlined here have seemingly simple solutions, not all security systems provide mechanisms to prevent absent and false alarms. Unfortunately, that can leave your family and belongings in danger when no signal is sent and can cause friction with neighbors and emergency services (and possibly result in a fine) if you have repeated false alarms.
As you compare the options available to you, it’s important to dig a little deeper to see what the company does to help minimize issues such as those mentioned here. The best wireless home security system will have ways of dealing with these issues, so they can be resolved with ease.